Marketing – We’re still bananas for bananas!

Latest Nielsen research shows our favourite fruit is holding its ground as a market leader, with Australian households continuing to buy more bananas than any other fruit.

Aussie consumers are still bananas for bananas. It remains, by far, the nation’s most popular fruit. Nine-in-10 Australian households purchased bananas in the year ending 24 February 2017, and total volume sales grew by 7.5% during this period.

 The rise in volume and the small growth in the number of households that purchased bananas (+0.2%) helped negate the effect of falling prices and soften the -7.7% decline in total dollar sales. However, this price decline would have still been felt at the farm gate.

Research from Nielsen’s Homescan Consumer Panel reveals that the growth in bananas bucked the trend experienced by total fruit, where value grew at 3.6%, ahead of volume at 0.7%. For bananas, volume outpacing value sales in this environment has cemented its position as the number one fruit. It sells more volume than any other fruit and also has the largest number of households purchasing (94%); ahead of apples (89%), citrus fruit (89%), berries (87%) and stone fruit (79%).

The value and price dynamics, however, have hindered bananas’ goal to also keep its lead in value sales. Bananas dropped to second in value rankings as a result of commoditisation behind berries.

On average, Australian households bought 19.1 kilograms of bananas in the past 12 months. Lower prices encouraged consumers to buy bananas more frequently, at a rate of 24 times/year, in the last 12 months, up 1.4 occasions compared to the previous year.

Young families (families with children under 11 — a key target demographic) increased their average volume by 1.2 kilograms and are making one extra trip a year, which means we have met our KPI target for 2018 already.

Young Transitionals (under 35s with no children) added an impressive two kilograms of bananas to their volume spend in the past year, and two more trips in the same period. We have also met our 2018 target for Young Transitionals

The sharp decline (-14.2%) in the annual price per volume means households received much more banana for their buck. They now spend an average $54.47, down by $5.82 in the last year, but they also got an extra kilo in the fruit bowl.

With so many households buying bananas, the opportunities to grow will come from boosting how much is bought and how often. To drive growth further for bananas, a big dollar opportunity exists by focusing marketing efforts to continue to reach and engaging young families and Young Transitionals.

By encouraging these households to increase the amount of bananas they buy in a year by 1kg at the current price — be it through buying more bananas per occasion and/or increasing how often they purchase — a $6.6 million growth prize could be up for grabs.

**Submitted by Hort Innovation Australia using latest data collected by Nielsen’s Homescan Consumer Panel, funded by the Banana Industry’s R&D Levy. For more information contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Elisa King at

 *** Please note, as the 2018 targets have been met in 2017, new  targets will be set in July 2017.